Two of many efforts already underway to build on election campaign momentum on the Web:
The Groundswell crew proposes my.america.gov, "the world's largest focus group." The goal is to inspire the Obama team to quickly shove all of that online get-elected energy into mass problem-solving mode. To be clear, this is but an idea, at this point, and not yet a reality. The "I" is Josh Bernofff:
I call on president-elect Obama to create a community of committed Americans to discuss the solutions to the problems that face us. I call on him to designate a US Community Manager, with a small staff, to moderate and harvest those discussions to solve the country's problems. Forget polls. With a few million people in my.america.gov, Obama will be able to tap into the world's largest focus group. Communities are cheap, compared to most of what the government does. Create a space for the brightest people you know; use them to attract the best ideas. And better yet, use this energized community to sell those ideas to America.
Analysis: The whole point of Municipalist is to document and encourage use of Web 2.0 tools and ideas by individuals and organizations in government. But would we really benefit from something on the scale of a "U.S. Community Manager"? Sounds too much like the Ministry of Truth. Watch out if the goal of such an effort is solely to build a mass bully force, and to avoid compromise, as the Groundswell plan describes.
But before you get to worry about governing, you must actually win an election. Something Republicans used to be good at. Rebuild the Party is an effort aimed at forcing Republicans to confront some hard truths:
2008 made one thing clear: If allowed to go unchecked, the Democrats' structural advantages, including their use of the Internet, their more than 2-to-1 advantage with young voters, their discovery of a better grassroots model -- will be as big a threat to the future of the GOP as the toxic political environment we have faced the last few years.
The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels.
Analysis: The group identified at the site as "The Coalition" is a solid new-idea team for the next generation of plugged-in conservatives, such as Patrick Ruffini of The Next Right and Erick Erickson of RedState. But it would have been great, from our perspective, to have seen this project -- and many others to bring together the best conservative minds online -- happen about 18 months ago. And we are certain of this: Undoubtedly, somewhere in all of those transition meetings happening this week in Washington, more than a few Obama-ites are already at work thinking up whole new tools and ideas for the 2012 election version of my.barackobama.com, with better capabilities and plenty more innovations. So that is what Rebuild must focus on competing with. Version 1.0 was impressive, to be sure. But it's long gone.